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Pride in a humble pie in Scotland

Scottish bakers of 'Forfar birdie' pies hope to join exclusive culinary club to protect authenticity.

• A local, slice-of-life story from a Monitor correspondent.

Bakers of the humble “Forfar bridie,” a short-crust pastry filled with beef and onions, are not fond of imitators.

The horseshoe-shaped meat parcel is a local delicacy loved by people who live in the region and beyond, famous in Scotland as much for its meaty goodness as the town for which it is named.

The Forfar locals are so proud of the pastry pie – said to have been conceived in the area early in the 19th century – they want it to join an exclusive culinary club in Europe that protects the regional authenticity when labeling products like Parma ham and Champagne. This means only bakers in the Forfar area could use the town’s name when selling their bridies.

The sensitivities run deep. When a baker from the nearby town of Broughty Ferry recently opened a new branch in Forfar, the owners made a very public proclamation that they would not be calling their out-of-town-made bridies “Forfar bridies.”

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